Baton Rouge bar fight involves two state legislators

Posted at 7:43 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 19:43:01-04

A campaign sign for State Senator Norby Chabert promises voters, "No one in Baton Rouge fights harder for The Bayou than he does."

The Republican from Houma also made a similar vow in a campaign video, stating, “I promise to never forget where I came from, to always shoot straight, and never be intimidated... and most importantly, to fight like hell for the issues that are going to move Louisiana forward," Chabert said in the video.

Tuesday night, he apparently made good on that promise inside The River Room bar near the State Capitol.

State Representative Stuart Bishop of Lafayette says he and Chabert were arguing about a legislative bill when the two got physical. He says Chabert punched him several times. Bishop told a USA Today reporter, Greg Hilburn, that “we had a gentleman’s disagreement and settled it with our hands.”

"He's not happy with me over a bill," said Bishop, who blocked a bill from Chabert as chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, according to the news report.

Chabert is chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. The argument began on the House floor earlier in the day before spilling outside of the Capitol later that night.

"I love Stuart like a brother, and sometimes brothers fight," Chabert told the USA Network. "We are both passionate people and sometimes that gets the best of us."

The Baton Rouge Police Department was called to the bar, but the two lawmakers had already left and no was arrested. Bishop apologized for the fight in a speech on the House floor Wednesday.

“I come before you today humbled,” the representative said. “One of my colleagues and I from across the hall had a disagreement and it got physical. I feel like it was unbecoming of a gentleman and unbecoming of a member of this House, and for that, I truly apologize."

Also on Wednesday afternoon, Chabert did the same across the hall in the Senate. Chabert says he did not "rise with any honor" when he began addressing his colleagues.

"There aren’t many words when you find yourself in a situation like this that really can redeem you, but I think that we can get past this," Senator Chabert said.

“It’s something that you never want to have to live with, but whenever you do it, you have to own it, and I think Representative Bishop and myself have done that today and we're still friends. We’ll always be friends.”

And also at the capitol Wednesday afternoon, someone wrapped Bishop's desk on the House floor with crime tape, seemingly making light of the late-night bar room fight between two of their colleagues. 

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